The majority of tourists visiting Bali stay in South Bali, but East Bali is also a fantastic place to visit and stay, especially if you prefer to see some of the culture and nature of the island.
There are tons of things to do and see, and if you are a diver the opportunities to see incredible marine life are endless. Check out some of the things you can do on an East Bali getaway.
Visit the Lotus Lagoon in Candidasa
Candidasa is the perfect location to stay, as it’s quite central on the east coast of Bali and also has plenty of tourist facilities like restaurants, minimarts, ATMs and medical clinics. The Lotus lagoon is right in the middle of Candidasa; the beautiful lotus flowers make the perfect backdrop for photos.
You can also visit the temple across from the lagoon, where there is a statue of the fertility goddess Hariti. This is often a place of prayer for childless couples asking for help with fertility. As the temple is quite high up a set of stone stairs, the view of the lagoon and out to the ocean is beautiful from the highest point.
Take a Breather at Pasir Putih
One of Bali’s most spectacular beaches is just around 15 minutes drive to the east of Candidasa. The beach is referred to as Pasir Putih (white sand), Virgin Beach or sometimes Bugbug Beach, after the area it is located in.
It’s a rough road down to the beach but once you are there you’ll be glad it isn’t an easy drive because there aren’t too many tourists. There are a number of small, simple cafes with beach chairs and most have a simple toilet and shower so you can spend the day at the beach comfortably.
Take a Trip to the Bat Cave
Goa Lawah, or the Bat Cave is one of Bali’s most sacred temples. Around 25 minutes west of Candidasa, this cave is said to be connected all the way to the sacred volcano of Gunung Agung. It is inhabited by thousands of bats that roost in the ceiling of the cave above the Hindu temple built in the 11th century.
If you visit at sunset you’ll see the bats rush out of the mouth of the cave for their nocturnal feeding. This can be a dramatic sight if it doesn’t creep you out too much!
Explore an Underwater Wonderland
The east of Bali and the islands off the coast are the best places in Bali to dive. Gangga Divers at Lotus Bungalows in Candidasa offers trips to the reefs off of Candidasa, Padangbai and Tulamben, as well as Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida.
If you dive off the east coast of Bali you can expect to see a huge variety of coral and marine life, from macro creatures while muck diving, to sea horses, ghost pipefishes, scorpionfish, waspfish and larger pelagics like reef sharks, barracuda and even sunfish and manta rays.
Climb to Lempuyang Temple
Lempuyang is lesser known than Besakih, Bali’s mother temple, but is very important to Balinese Hindus. The temple is one of the island’s oldest temples and is extremely beautiful and rarely busy due to the steep staircase of 1,700 stairs it takes to get to it.
It’s worth the climb to the top for the incredible views, but if you can’t make it all the way, there is also a temple about half way up that is also beautiful. If you are up for it, climb before sunrise to watch the morning sun waking up the island.
Go to Court at Kerta Gosa Hall of Justice
Located in Klungkung, Kerta Gosa is an ancient pavilion built in the early 18th century as a court of law. The intricately carved grand hall floats at the center of the pavilion and features ceilings covered in detailed Balinese paintings, which this area is famous for.
The paintings depict spiritual teachings and the story of karma and rebirth to teach the accused tried here a lesson.
Stroll Through Tirta Gangga Water Gardens
Built by the Raja of Karangasem regency in 1948, Tirta Gangga is a lush area of fountains and pools, stone carvings, gardens and statues. It was devastated by the volcanic eruption of Mount Agung in 1963 but was rebuilt to the original designs shortly after.
The park covers 1 hectare and is lovely to stroll around, so stop by and enjoy feeling like a king or queen wandering in your luxurious palace gardens.
See the Original Balinese Way of Life at Tenganan Village
Close to Candidasa, Tenganan is home to the Bali Aga people, who were settled in even before Hinduism came to the island. The people in this village still live in a very traditional way, practicing a more animalistic religion and keeping to their unique customs only found in this area.
The village is famous for the traditional weaving of Geringsing cloth. A single Geringsing cloth can take up to 5 years to complete!
Wondering how to book your East Bali experience? Ask us about tours, accommodation and diving area in the comments below.